An “electrician” who isn’t capable of working with electrical wiring and elements can cause substantial damage to your home as well as risk the lives of you and your family. Finding the right electrician can be as much a matter of safety as getting your money’s worth since electrical problems are among the leading causes of house fires.
1. Are They Licensed?
Electricians are required to be licensed in California. There are two basic levels of licensure – a master electrician and journeyman. A master electrician has at least two years of professional experience and is licensed for both design and installation of electrical systems. They know the National Electrical Code and any modifications that your state has made to it. They are qualified to plan, design, install and maintain an electrical system for your project. A journeyman is licensed for installation only and sometimes work alongside master electricians. By law, he cannot design systems but can install wiring and equipment. Ask to see the electrician’s license – ensuring that it’s valid will affect your decision to hire or not. Also, consider if the electrician would be required to get a building permit. Before the building inspector can sign off on the work, the inspector must examine it to see if it’s up to code. The standard practice is for all electricians to pull permits.
2. Are They Insured?
Certainly one of the deal-breaker electrician questions, given the potentially high liability for this work. When interviewing an electrician, ask to see a copy of his state license as well as proof of insurance. Make sure both are current. Electrical contractors should carry at least $500,000 in liability and workers’ compensation insurance. If they do something wrong, cause damage to your home, or cause damage to you, you want to know they’ve got the means to pay for it through their own insurance company. When interviewing an electrician, ask to see a copy of his state license as well as proof of insurance.
3. Do They Provide References?
References are important for hiring electricians. You have every right to ask for a list of references from previous customers before you call anyone to work in your home. Use them to see how satisfied they were with the job done and the service he or she provided. Use them to help make your final decision.
4. What Are The Warranties?
Learn how well a pro stands behind his electrical work. Also be aware that electricians typically assume responsibility for fixtures, devices and other equipment they buy for you through their professional accounts. Most electrical changes requires a permit issued by your local building department.
5. What’s Their Specialty?
Electricians tend to specialize. Some concentrate on new construction, some just in commercial work, and some go only on service calls to fix dead outlets or faulty fixtures. Even if another contractor handles the specialty stuff, it’s helpful if your electrician has experience working with those systems and protocols. Most general contractors have a short list of dependable electricians, but if your contractor can’t recommend one, check with the local home-builders’ association or an electrical supply house in the area for a recommendation.
Ready for Your Home Energy Audit?
At Frontline Electrical Services we love helping our customers feel safe and secure in their homes. If you are in the Benicia or Fairfield, California area, contact us today at (800) 945-0268 (here is a map to us) to have your home’s wiring checked or to receive your free home energy consult where our techs analyze your electricity usage and give you the information you need to make sure your home is the most energy-efficient it can be! Remember, if it’s electrical, we do it!